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New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourself here – 1st quarter of 2017

Hi all,

Newbie on the Costa Rica forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Costa Rica if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

PD : The thread New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourself here – 4th quarter of 2016 continues below!

Hi! 

Nine years from retirement.  Married, empty nest. Just exploring options.

Hi! We live in Portland Oregon and really want a lifestyle change. We have lots of kids, ranging in age from 2 to 21. The oldest one or two might choose to stay behind. We are looking into either Hawaii island or Costa Rica. We want a year-round growing season so fruits and vegetables are easily grown or found at farmers markets. We love the outdoors, and want to be somewhere with a good sense of community. My husband and I don't know much Spanish, but are willing to work hard to learn it. Our 14 and 17 year old daughters know a fair amount of Spanish from being in an immersion program for several years. I'm certain our 2 and 5 year olds would pick it up fast. We would just need to figure out a decent job for my husband. I'm currently a student taking prenursing courses and am trying to homeschool our 5 year old. Any general advice would be greatly appreciated. If we choose Costa Rica, our plan for residency would be to sell our house here and buy a home there...
Thank you!!!

Hi everyone,

@ Outdoormama, welcome on board  :)

For some general advices, maybe you could go through the different threads of the Costa Rica forum to begin with, then try to create a new topic with some precise questions. It will help you get feedbacks and other informations.

All the very best,
Bhavna

I currently reside in St Albert, Alberta, with my 12 year old daughter.  We love Canada but would like to get out of the fast paced lifestyle. Not to sure where to start with the whole process.

Welcome!
Suggest you read the financial requirement required to apply for residency. and the rules  regarding working here legally.

Will do thank you

New to this site, but have been finding a lot of the posts very interesting.  We started the process almost 10 years ago and I must say, lots to learn.  Even though this is a beautiful country, it is not for everyone.  We went through the building experience and could go on for hours about the do's and don'ts.  Just make sure you do lots of homework before making the move a permanent one.

Lisakiandra :

I currently reside in St Albert, Alberta, with my 12 year old daughter.  We love Canada but would like to get out of the fast paced lifestyle. Not to sure where to start with the whole process.

Hola Lisa!

Right here is a very good place to start your research.  If you read through the topics posted it will give you a good idea of how things work here in Costa Rica.  If you have additional questions beyond that, and I'm sure you will, just ask.  People here are friendly and happy to help.

We all started out right where your are now.  Just ask and we will try and answer. 

- Expat Dave

Thanks very much for your reply.  I was concerned that pre-existing wouldn't be covered.  It doesn't appear that any of the private insurance we could purchase would even cover him. (I've spoken with several companies and they all say no as soon as diabetes is mentioned.)  The income requirements and having to apply separately are not a huge issue.  It's only been within the last 10 years or so that I've been able to include him on my insurance, have rights to visit at the hospital, etc.  Are there any issues or concerns about things like hospital visitation, etc. in Costa Rica?  Thanks again for any insight.

from nyc. just getting started. planning on finding rental 2 years, full-time retirement at 56. do plan on taking spanish lessons.

wondering in samara area, what are roughly my costs? wondering about maybe sharing a pool with neighbors would be ideal. i have no car. also, wondered if some hotels could be recommended for long term rentals? thanks.

heathertrue :

from nyc. just getting started. planning on finding rental 2 years, full-time retirement at 56. do plan on taking spanish lessons.

wondering in samara area, what are roughly my costs? wondering about maybe sharing a pool with neighbors would be ideal. i have no car. also, wondered if some hotels could be recommended for long term rentals? thanks.

Hola Heather and welcome to Expat.com!   :)

I am an Expat.com team member and I am an expat living in Costa Rica.  Happy to answer any questions for you that I can.

I would recommend reading through recent posts to get an idea of costs, etc.  Your cost of living will depend greatly on your lifestyle.  There are people here that live on $1,500 per month and those that live on $5,000+ per month.  I, along with my daughter, live on $2,000 per month.  Your expenses would be a bit higher in the Samara area if you use air conditioning.  It is HOT there.

I don't think you want to stay in a hotel long-term.  It would be expensive and you could get a house for a lot less.  I would suggest you look through our Housing section above, Craigslist CR and Ecuentra24.com to get an idea on housing costs.  Euentra24.com can be switched to English.

No car... some people do this and are happy with it; however, personally, I don't like it at all.  Although it is cheap to take buses here, it takes forever to get anywhere.

Good luck on your search!

- Expat Dave
Expat.com experts team

Thanks Dave. While from nyc, i dont know how to drive & have a background of youth hostel/peace corps so think i can keep some expenses down-just want to be located centrally to be next to neighbors, ocean/pool & lifestyle at this pt. Id like to eventually be part of a local community perhaps via a school system through volunteering etc. definitely enjoy & can tolerate hot weather.

thanks for your suggestions. Do you think its worthwhile visiting during august? (Im familiar with monsoons)  thanks.

Possibly consider areas such as Tamarindo or Playas del Coco, both of which have many retirees/snowbirds who stay for 6 months or so, plus full time expat residents who rent at one of the many condos, most of which have pools.
Most home do not have pools, so finding a neighbor who wishes to share with you, maybe difficult.

heathertrue :

Thanks Dave. While from nyc, i dont know how to drive & have a background of youth hostel/peace corps so think i can keep some expenses down-just want to be located centrally to be next to neighbors, ocean/pool & lifestyle at this pt. Id like to eventually be part of a local community perhaps via a school system through volunteering etc. definitely enjoy & can tolerate hot weather.

thanks for your suggestions. Do you think its worthwhile visiting during august? (Im familiar with monsoons)  thanks.

I'm surprised, I just looked it up and there are three hostels in the Samara area.  Cost runs between $12-$35 per night.  More than a small house rental.  You probably would need to spend some time there to find the right living arrangements for you. 

If you live in a Tico community the houses will be very close together so you could develop many new Tico friends.  If you speak enough Espanol by then, you will find them to be extremely friendly.  Also, Tico style housing can be very inexpensive - around $250-$300 per month.

Most schools are happy to have Gringos volunteer their time helping with English.  I did this for a while at the local high school.  It was fun.  They do not charge a fee.

Since you don't drive, another thing you might want to consider is a scooter.  They are automatic so you don't have to shift, great gas mileage and fun to buzz around on.  If you can ride a bike you could ride a scooter.

August visit - Yes, definitely.  That area specifically doesn't necessarily get that much rain.  Personally, I prefer the rainy season, it's not as hot.  Most days you will have nice sunny morning and then rain in the afternoon.  It's kind of nice.  Also, it would help you gauge if the area is just a touristy area or if there are many expats.

- Expat Dave

While hostel living was acceptable while only there for a short term or even enjoyable when 'young' it may not be so, once one is now 'mature'  ;)

I think the rentals in that area are quite a bit more expensive, even in a Tico community...at least it was when we looked around there with friends a few years  ago, and highly unlikely to have a neighbour with a pool

thanks-..ive been hostelling all my "young" and "mature" life...(i'll have to think about whether I'm "mature" or simply "middle-aged" or, "older")

my references was in terms of being budget-minded.

i guess I'm wondering if there are small apartment "complexes" or communities that have a shared pool in that area. its hard to tell from ads.

thanks.

In that area, I don't know  if there are small apartment "complexes" with pool, although there are many of them, throughout the country. In reality there are very few pools in the country as they are expensive to maintain and during the rainy period, many are emptied due to ground water runoff, that leaves them the colour of Café con leche  : :unsure

Moderated by Bhavna 7 months ago
Reason : Off-Topic
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My name is Kat.  My goal is to move to CR within 2-5 years.  I intend to locate near a wildlife refuge/sanctuary where i can volunteer.  I plan to live a minimal life style as i already do per lomoted income.  I hope to rent from locals a room or other to help them out financially.   Looking for furnished all utilities included.  Ty

Hi my name is Tom I am 45 single, currently living in the UK but after 20 odd years I think I have had enough of British weather (no offense to Brits here) and most recently fed up with rat race in general thinking of moving to Costa Rica. Trying to find a way to move from offline work to online work, my web design and social media management start up should be up in full swing by summer. Looking ideally for an eco village, vegan or better still raw vegan community who is already setup over there. I know it is pretty weird but my few health issues have prompted me to radical dietary changes as well as ethical point of view. Therefore I would really appreciate to point me into right direction . If I have to volunteer first that would be great as well, I am happy to contribute in any way necessary I do not have much savings so buying land is out of the question for now, maybe this a dream for now but I will make sure it will become really as soon as possible.

Welcome Tom!

Living here legally will require funds when [url=http://costaricalaw.com/costa-rica-legal-topics/immigration-and-residency/residency-general-information-and-summary/ applying for residency[/url]. Usually a younger person will not have a 'guaranteed for life pension' so they choose Rentista Status. However, it is mandatory to affiliate with the socialized medical system here, and if under 55 your premium could be high.

I heard that you can come and go every 3 months for years without any trouble, is it still the case or immigration rules have changed?

Legally, you are required to apply for residency but many do 'come and go', although there is no guarantee that you will given a 90 days tourist stamp or be permitted to re-enter the country. I was just bringing it to your attention.

I understand, would like to test the waters before I settle there, thank you

Hola Tom,

Welcome to expat.com!  I would be surprised if you had any visa problems if you're coming from the UK.  I have a friend that was British that helped me build my house.  He was here for years and just exited the country every 90 days. 

The worst that could happen is they only give you a 30 day visa - but I have never heard of that happening to a Brit.   Come on over and have a great time!  😎🏖🏞

Expat Dave

Thx Dave its good to know, i have dual citizenship, but looks like British passport would more favourable over Polish.

Definitely use your British over Polish.  Anything out of the ordinary, they'd see Polish as something different, would raise a red flag.

- Expat Dave

Hi guys, I think I found group of people who want to set up mine kind of community in Puerto Viejo area 15 min drive from the beach. Can someone please advice on area. Safety, locals, mosquitos, beach fleas, lowest/highest temperatures and whatever might seem significant. Thx in advance.

This is an area where it is definitely 'encouraged' that you get your 'feet on the ground' to check for yourself.

An interactive  weather map is on here.

Sounds like while some would like to set it up, is there money to do so?

Would I recommend the area? No.

Is any list of expats or will-be-expats in the region Guanacaste or specifically in the community Playa Lagarto available?

Hi, thx fur reply , any particular reason why not?

Solely my personal preference after living in this country for  many years.

Try it out but suggest that you don't sink your money into it, until you are sure it is for you.

Also, growing organically is very difficult here and veggie varieties are limited with many favourites, not easily available.

Thank you again, our main interest is to grow fruit and there must be some wild edible green, no money involved to start with I would test run it for at least 6 months. From interactive map you supplied it looks like that particular area has only 40% chance of sun which could be main issue. I just don't want to swap cold cloudy British sky for warm cloudy sky of Costa Rica.

You will have to be prepared to fight the insects, birds and the animals for the flowers then the fruit. Right now, the squirrels and birds are eating all our nearly ready to pick mangoes. Last week they finished off the cashew fruit...
Iguanas will eat all the leaves they can...

That area may be too humid for most  fruit. Seasonal flooding could be a concern. Cartago is a good agricultural area.

We lived on a large farm and experimented growing many different varieties of fruit trees, and even then, there was not a constant supply...and starting from scratch will take a long time.

Researching on the ground is the way to go...

Thank you.

I feel you!! There is so much information online, all I can say to you is  Just do it  .. My boyfrie :) nd and I are looking to move as well. We are from Montreal. I'm hoping within the next 3 years max we can officially start planning.. focusing on saving money first and trying to figure out how to get some kind income through the web. Good luck ! keep us posted :)

Greetings!
Been a "lurker" for a bit and thought I'd come out of the shadows and make myself legal.
There's a wealth of information all in one place. Thank you Expat.com!

Hola ThinkingitOver!

Welcome to Expat.com.  Very happy that we can help in anyway with your future ex-pat life!

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Expat Dave,
total rookie, in fact still in the starting blocks, possible already stretched but not sure and there are 23 miles to go.

re: the "nice cost of living on 1500 - 2k a month. 

Being a spoiled american brat,  Yea I am practicing before arriving.   We are planning on buying a home for the and then not have home payments.  I can hardly fathom 2k a month,  but is that "middle america middle class type living or is that budget conscious coupon clipping type living,   and please these are not meant to be stereotypes , but honest questions trying to comprehend. 

I have visited many times with the thought always resting in the back of my head - One Day.   And it looks as if that day has the chance of becoming a reality.

Thank You in advance for your time,  and I love this blog so far.

Joe

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